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Gene. 2004 Aug 4;337:189-98.

Sequencing and analysis of the large virulence plasmid pLVPK of Klebsiella pneumoniae CG43.

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Department of Biological Science and Technology, National Chiao Tung University, 75, Po-Ai Street, Hsinchu, Taiwan, ROC.


We have determined the entire DNA sequence of pLVPK, which is a 219-kb virulence plasmid harbored in a bacteremic isolate of Klebsiella pneumoniae. A total of 251 open reading frames (ORFs) were annotated, of which 37% have homologous genes of known function, 31% match the hypothetical genes in the GenBank database, and the remaining 32% are novel sequences. The obvious virulence-associated genes carried by the plasmid are the capsular polysaccharide synthesis regulator rmpA and its homolog rmpA2, and multiple iron-acquisition systems, including iucABCDiutA and iroBCDN siderophore gene clusters, Mesorhizobium loti fepBC ABC-type transporter, and Escherichia coli fecIRA, which encodes a Fur-dependent regulatory system for iron uptake. In addition, several gene clusters homologous with copper, silver, lead, and tellurite resistance genes of other bacteria were also identified. Identification of a replication origin consisting of a repA gene lying in between two sets of iterons suggests that the replication of pLVPK is iteron-controlled and the iterons are the binding sites for the repA to initiate replication and maintain copy number of the plasmid. Genes homologous with E. coli sopA/sopB and parA/parB with nearby direct DNA repeats were also identified indicating the presence of an F plasmid-like partitioning system. Finally, the presence of 13 insertion sequences located mostly at the boundaries of the aforementioned gene clusters suggests that pLVPK was derived from a sequential assembly of various horizontally acquired DNA fragments.

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